Whitney and Spencer Blake decided to turn their seven-year struggle with infertility into a heartwarming message of inspiration and connection in a photo series on their blog that they call “infertility announcements.”
“If other people know they’re not alone in this, it can really give them an emotional boost,” Spencer, 30, tells PEOPLE. “In the heart of our struggle, it was so nice to get support from others going through the same thing. We wanted to connect with people in a not-so-serious way!”
The Boise, Idaho, couple first came up with the idea after stumbling across popular pregnancy announcements online – and they decided to create spoofs based on the most hilarious ones.
“We know firsthand that it can be sad seeing happy pregnancy posts online,” Whitney, 30, tells PEOPLE. “But infertility is an issue that people shouldn’t shy away from. We believe there’s a lot of healing in connection.”
The pair’s first spoof, a take on the popular “bun in the oven” announcement, garnered an overwhelmingly positive reaction.
“Someone on Facebook messaged me and said, ‘Thank you so much for letting me know I’m not alone,’ ” says Spencer. “And that’s why we decided to do this in the first place.”
Whitney and Spencer were diagnosed with “unexplained infertility” in 2011 after undergoing dozens of tests to uncover why they couldn’t conceive.
For years, they continued trying for a family, but eventually turned to adoption as a way to start their family.
The couple adopted two boys into their family – one in 2012 and another in 2014.
“In a way, we have a great appreciation for infertility,” says Whitney. “We’ll never love infertility, obviously, but we are grateful for the way it shaped our family story. If it weren’t for infertility, we wouldn’t have found our boys. We love them so dearly and our family turned out the way it was supposed to.”
“When we brought our sons into our family, they became so special and sacred to us, in our heart,” says Spencer. “It was something we’d waited for so long and having our little guys here is absolutely amazing.”
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The father of two adds, “Waiting for our kids is what makes them so precious.”
The couple says the best way to support friends or family struggling with infertility is to acknowledge the issue at hand.
“If someone opens up to you about their infertility issues, be there for them!” says Spencer. “Acknowledgement is key, when someone shows they care, it really means the world.”